How to build a hoist frame

Written by tom glander
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How to build a hoist frame
Hoists are attached to frames and used to lift heavy objects. (building it image by Vanessa van Rensburg from

Working on a car's engine may include its removal. In order to lift the engine from the car, a hoist is required and can easily be built from common sized lumber. If you want to save money and have basic carpentry skills, building your own hoist frame is the way to go. A quick trip to your local home improvement store for some supplies is all that's needed, and in an hour you can have your very own frame from which you may hoist various heavy objects.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 2x4 lumber
  • 2x6 lumber
  • Hammer
  • 16 penny nails
  • 8 penny nails
  • Heavy screw hook
  • Drill motor
  • Drill bits
  • Wood screws

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  1. 1

    Nail or screw together two 2x6x10 lumber beams. You'll be creating a header to which your hoisting apparatus will be attached. Each 2x4x10 should be 6 feet long if you want to span a car's width if hoisting an engine. The actual dimensions of your hoist frame will depend on the task you're trying to accomplish.

  2. 2

    Support the header with posts. Nail a 2x4 onto one end of the beam. Place another 2x4 against the previous one and nail together. One 2x4's end should be under the beam. Nail the two 2x4s together. Do this for both ends of the beam.

  3. 3

    Create a foot for the post to sit on. Using additional 2x4 lumber, create a T shaped footing. Nail one 2x4 perpendicular to the support beam.

  4. 4

    Build bracing for the beam. Attach 2x4's to the foot with nails, running them at a 45 degree angle from foot to beam, creating a triangle. This will keep the hoist frame from toppling.

  5. 5

    Attach a screw hook. A large diameter screw hook at least 4 inches long should be screwed into the beam. Drill a pilot hole half the diameter of the hook to make the hook easier to install. From this hook you can hang a pully system to hoist heavy objects.

Tips and warnings

  • Heavy screw hooks will not pull out of lumber and will hold tremendous a tremendous amount of weight. If you prefer, heavy rope, chain or cable may be wrapped around the beam to support the hoisting device.
  • Wear person protective equipment when working with a hoist.
  • Don't attempt to lift more than you can manage safely if working alone.

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